New Palm Springs police chief reports for duty on Monday

Santa Cruz’s police chief will take over the same position in Palm Springs starting next week, city officials announced Thursday.

Andrew Mills will begin at his new position as the Palm Springs Police Department chief starting November 8, but will not be officially sworn-in until the November 18 City Council meeting.

Mills has been involved in law enforcement since 1983, when he started as a patrol officer with the San Diego Police Department. He later served four years as police chief in Eureka before becoming chief in Santa Cruz in 2017.

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“The Palm Springs Police Department has a longstanding tradition of inclusive community policing and building important neighborhood and stakeholder relationships,” Mills said in a statement. “I am honored to be chosen to serve as the next Palm Springs police chief and I look forward to working with our officers, the community, city manager and council to continue providing an exceptional level of public safety service to the Palm Springs community.”

According to the city, Mills was an agent of change at the Santa Cruz department, moving the station toward a culture of community policing, problem solving and transparency.

Mills was appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the Board of State and Community Corrections and also served as executive chair of the California Violence Prevention Grant and on the Board of the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.

“I am very excited to see Chief Mills join our team,” City Manager Justin Clifton said in a statement. “We have had an extensive process where the candidates were tested on their values, knowledge, skills and abilities with a broad cross-section of stakeholders serving as evaluators.

“Chief Mills was clearly the top performer in the process. I think he will be able to integrate with our team and community seamlessly. He brings a wealth of experience and leadership that, with help from the rest of our team, can take us to the next level.”

Mills will take over the post from Chief Bryan Reyes, who retired in August.

— City News Service

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